“The Big Bang Theory” cast paid tribute to the late Stephen Hawking in a deleted clip from Thursday’s season 11 finale.
The show’s Twitter account shared the exclusive clip after the final instalment of the series aired, with the scene taking place after Sheldon’s (played by Jim Parsons) wedding to Amy (Mayim Bialik).
The video showed Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) bringing in some wedding presents; one of which was from Hawking, who passed away aged 76 in March 2018.
Hawking gifted the pair a pocket watch, with the engravement reading: “Sheldon, I’m so glad you finally married Amy. It’s about time.”
A message shown at the end of the clip then read, “To one of the greatest minds in the universe and dear member of our family. We will miss you deeply. With love, from everyone in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ family.”
Executive producer Steve Holland spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the deleted scene, which ended up being cut due to time constraints.
He explained: “We had wanted to do something to honour his passing and his involvement in the show. When we were writing the wedding episode, it was actually [executive producer] Steve Molaro that had the idea that maybe Professor Hawking had sent them a gift before he passed.”
Holland continued, “We really wanted to get a chance to reference him and his passing and his importance to the show. It was hard to because, when it happened, we had already shot three episodes, so there was no way to be super-timely about it, and this seemed like a great chance for us to do it in this big special episode.”